The second 20.
The day after my second 20 I felt fantastic. I had classes all day and felt exceptionally clear-headed, focused, energized and grounded. And, I guess, excited and happy to have made it through two 20’s with no injury and no pain. Does that mean I’m not running hard enough? I know our coaches continually remind us to be running s l o w e r that our marathon pace but I don’t know anyone who follows this. With a Boston qualifying time of 4 hours (with the 59 second margin) I will need to maintain a 9:10 pace which now seems slow to me. I’ve been taking almost a minute (maybe half a minute) or so at the water stops but my moving pace (according to my Garmin) for the last 20 was 9:03. I sprinted into the stadium with an 8:15 or so for the last two miles.
We have one month to go and I’m not sure how best to prepare to have a great race. Or, maybe I do. I’m thinking the first thing to do for my next 20 is to spend as little time as possible at the stops. When I was training on my own last Spring I never stopped at my gatorade pick ups: I’d slow down at a friend’s porch where I’d dropped a bottle the night before and jog slowly while I drank. I almost never ever stopped. Maybe all I have to do is relax and stay with the pace team and enjoy the run and if I’m feeling great I can take a few minutes off my time for the final 6 miles. But…but…but what if I want to do 3:55 instead of 3:59:59? Do I pull ahead at 18? or if I want to do 3:52.47, do I pull ahead at 17.5 or just as we cross Broad Street…or…or. It can get obsessive. It probably is enough to just continue with a strong training, good nutrition, plenty of sleep. Can I just stay healthy and enjoy the run? Is that not enough?